World T20 2016 April 4, 2016

Stokes the 'heart and soul' of England - Bayliss

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Butcher: Stokes would put his hand up again

England coach Trevor Bayliss has backed Ben Stokes to bounce back from the pain of being taken for four sixes by Carlos Brathwaite in the final over the World T20 final, and said he is the "heart and soul" of the England team.

Stokes, who had become a key figure in the death overs for England during the World T20 as he delivered telling spells against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, had 19 runs to defend when he faced up to Brathwaite. However, four balls later the title was West Indies' after each of the deliveries was dispatched into the Kolkata stands.

Stokes was left distraught and, before hauling himself to the crease for what became the final delivery, he sank to his knees when Brathwaite had levelled the scores. A few hours later he tweeted his thanks for the support he had received and the morning after Brathwaite himself offered some consoling words. As England flew out of India, Paul Collingwood posted a photo of him alongside a relaxed Stokes on the plane.

Over the last 12 months, the form of Stokes has become central to England's success with key match-winning performances against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa before the World T20. Bayliss is in no doubt that he would front up to a similar final-over situation again.

"He is one of those blokes - if we had a game tomorrow, he'd put his hand up to bowl the last over again,'' he said. "No one is blaming Stokesy for anything. To be honest, he is the heart and soul of this team.

"If everyone put in half as much as Stokesy does, we'd go a long way. You can't fault Ben's leadership in the team or the effort he puts in. It doesn't matter whether he is batting, bowling or fielding, he gives you 100% until there's nothing in the tank. The more of those type of cricketers we can produce, the better for England cricket."

Home time with these two Durham legends. Don't get bitter get better Ottis Gibson and @stokesy #emirates #flight #homewardbound

A photo posted by Paul Collingwood (@paulcollingwood5) on

The closing stages of the tournament brought Stokes face-to-face with Marlon Samuels to reignite a tempestuous relationship which began a year ago on England's tour of the West Indies, where Samuels saluted Stokes off the field after a dismissal in the Grenada Test.

Samuels was fined 30% of his match fee for using foul language towards Stokes during the final over and in the press conference further fanned the flames by saying that Stokes "doesn't learn" about how engaging with him provides motivation.

"They keep telling him when he plays against me, do not speak to me because I'm going to perform," Samuels said. "I didn't even face a ball and he had so much to say to me that I know I had to be right there at the end, again."

However, Bayliss will not be attempting to change Stokes' on-field persona and believes it goes hand-in-hand with what makes him such a valuable player.

"Ben's one of those players that feeds off that. Some players sometimes say things and they can't really back it up. But Stokesy is one of those players... that's what turns him on, that's what gets his juices flowing and makes him as good as he is.

"He's not the only one around the world. There are a number of other players who do the same thing - almost create their own controversy, or whatever you want to call it, to psyche themselves up and get their head in the game. It brings the best out of him."

On the tournament overall, and while wanting to give the chance for the dust to settle, Bayliss believed that England will find regular success if they continue playing in the style they have done since the start of the last English season.

"Obviously the final was disappointing but I'm extremely proud of the way they played through this last few weeks," he said. "As long as we keep playing good cricket and someone has to do something remarkable to beat us, we'll win a lot of games."

England's next assignment is back in the Test format when a three-Test series against Sri Lanka starts on May 19. Most of the players will return to action with their counties over the next couple of weeks.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arshad on April 7, 2016, 8:29 GMT

    With due respect to Stokes, he is an extremely over-rated player in all facets of the game. Being a 'pure' Englishman, Stokes is being over-hyped unnecessarily, which is unfair to the bloke. That 20th over should have never been bowled by Stokes. But then, there is a Muhammad Sami in every team to help turn the result upside-down.

  • Jose on April 7, 2016, 7:11 GMT

    Stokes has the potential to become a very good fast bowling all-rounder. But, he still has quite some distance to go, even to reach up to Freddie Flintoff's level.

    England's search for a new Ian Botham is almost like the Australian's search for a Shane Warne. Futile, so far! And, nothing in the horizon, to boot.

    Let Ben Stokes reach at least Freddie's level, before we stick labels like "legend", as Carlos, his slayer for four ball, did! Or endowing him with the title of "England's heart and soul" as Bayliss did.

    Hyperboles, to the core! In both cases.

    Certainly, at this stage in his development and growth.

    Equally certainly, I will wait for that to happen. One day!

  • Michael Ponnudurai on April 7, 2016, 6:32 GMT

    Stokes did his best. England did their best. Carlos could have hit any bowler like that as it was a clear do or die situation, and his technique of stand and deliver helped a great deal. These two teams were the best of the tournament. Period. It is a given that one had to be runner up after the final. While West Indies celebrate, England are not far behind, so they should keep their chin up. Cheers to both teams!

  • mattcw0583684 on April 6, 2016, 20:12 GMT

    Takes bottle to ask the skipper for the ball at that stage - and no matter how many times i said "Oh NoHe Didn't!" about Carlos during the last 4 balls of the innings - the fact that Eng got this far in the tournament is what was probably more incredulous than those 4 Monster hits. - Good on you England you showed us a brand of cricket that was pretty sublime at times!!!! and nice comments from Brathers at the end too re Stokesy... Virtue still has a place in sports hurrah!!! ps Oraclemag - re Ben's 'small achievements' erm when was the last time you notched up 250 against S.A :) Stokesy has Cojonas Can't wait to see him bounce back stronger... his prob was listening to Otis's (W.I) death bowling plan of bowling Brathers half volleys (tongue in cheek!)

  • Robert on April 6, 2016, 17:41 GMT

    " There are a number of other players who do the same thing - almost create their own controversy, or whatever you want to call it, to psyche themselves up and get their head in the game. It brings the best out of him."

    Cricket needs people to step up and stamp it out. Cricket needs neither those who engage in such behaviour nor those who encourage it. It is NOT acceptable in sport; it is antithetical to the true spirit of it.

  • Blessing on April 6, 2016, 12:39 GMT

    Stokes and the rest of the english team have fine potential(as i claimed they are the team with the best potential in world cricket at the moment after experiencing it first hand on their tour of SA this summer) BUT one thing is for sure, I do not have any sympathy whatsoever for what happened to him in the final. I saw him arrogantly chirp Temba Bavuma in Cape Town early this year and Bavuma replied with a century and smacked him all over the park on a flat Newlands pitch. So after the exchanges he shared with Samuels he deserved all that he got! If you are prepared to dish it out be prepared to take it too young lad! PS fine player you are though in test cricket.

  • Inam on April 6, 2016, 12:25 GMT

    Do not blame Stokes, Brathwite played a blinder, the first six was on a bad ball butbthe next three were decent balls, some time you just give credit to batsmen, Engalnd were 20 runs shirt but made the game out of it, almost seal the deal but not meant to be, it will hurt stokes for a very long time sure, T20 is very unpredictable game remember Hussey took 19 runs from Ajamal in semifinal of t20 WC, Ajmal was reasin if pakistan many wins but that was not his day.

  • James on April 6, 2016, 11:47 GMT

    If you look at Stokes' stats for bat and ball in the short formats they are really, really poor. I mean, they are terrible. Batting averages are tail enders', while bowling averages are shocking, economy horrendous. Whoever said he was the world's best allrounder is deluded. You could well make a case for him being the world's worst short-format alrounder, based on stats. Seriously! Check them out yourselves.

    It's nice people are supporting Stokes. But the truth cannot be swept under the carpet. He bowled the worst imaginable final over and lost England the WC T20. He isn't good enough to be bowling the last over. Not even close. Simple.

    Then again, it is only T20. Most teams batting second win two or three balls from the end most of the time, unless the pitch is slow and dry. England probably would have won batting second. And the WI are no better than a host of other T20 teams. That's another truth not many will like to acknowledge.

  • Derek on April 6, 2016, 11:17 GMT

    Yes, Samuels kept WI in the game but didn't he badly pace the last few overs with wickets in hand leaving 19 to win off the last over and number 9 facing. Come on now, he couldn't have possibly have predicted Brathwaite's amazing onslaught. Big respect to Brath for performance and after match comments about Stokesy.

  • nuraiz on April 6, 2016, 10:39 GMT

    Two really contrasting captains seen in the finals. Both terrible with the bat. But Sammy made right decisions at right time and was able to motivate himself and his team against others odds. Morgan on the other hand lost confidence on the field and was not able to extract maximum out of a Very good and Challenging English side.

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